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First half of 2017 sees 164% increase in stolen or compromised records

By Ashton Young
Wed 20 Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Gemalto has released some rather dire findings from the Breach Level Index, a global database of public data breaches.

There were 918 data breaches that led to a staggering 1.9 billion records being compromised around the world in the first half of 2017 alone.

What’s even more concerning though, is that when compared the last six months of 2016, the number of lost, stolen or compromised records increased by a whopping 164 percent.

A large portion came from the 22 largest data breaches, each involving more than one million compromised records. Of the 918 data breaches more than 500 (59 percent of all breaches) had an unknown or unaccounted number of compromised data records.

Breaking the first half of this year down, more than ten million records were compromised or exposed every day, or one hundred and twenty-two records every second, including medical, credit card and/or financial data or personally identifiable information.

“IT consultant CGI and Oxford Economics recently issued a study, using data from the Breach Level Index and found that two-thirds of firms breached had their share price negatively impacted. Out of the 65 companies evaluated the breach cost shareholders over $52.40 billion,” says Jason Hart, vice president and chief technology officer for Data Protection at Gemalto.

“We can expect that number to grow significantly, especially as government regulations in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere enact laws to protect the privacy and data of their constituents by associating a monetary value to improperly securing data. Security is no longer a reactive measure but an expectation from companies and consumers.”

According to Gemalto, the primary source of data breaches came from malicious outsiders with 74 percent, and increase of 23 percent. However, they only accounted for 13 percent of all stolen, compromised or lost records.

Despite only accounting for eight percent of all breaches, malicious insider attackers in fact saw skyrocketing growth in a surge from 500,000 in the second half of 2016 to 20 million in the first half of this year, a 4,114 percent growth.

Gemalto asserts identity theft was the leading type of data breach in terms of incident, coming in at a whopping 74 percent of all data breaches, increasing from 49 percent in the previous semester.

The number of records compromised in identity theft breaches increased by 255 percent.

According to Gemalto, most of the industries had more than a 100 percent increase in the number of compromised, stolen or lost records.

Looking deeper, education witnessed one of the larges increased in breaches up by 103 percent with an increase over more than 4,000 percent in the number of records.

Healthcare had a relatively similar amount of breaches compared to the last six months of 2016, but stolen, lost or compromised records increased 423 percent. The U.K’s National Health Service was one of the top five breaches in the first half with over 26 million compromised records.

Financial services, government and entertainment were also industries that experienced a significant jump in the number of breached records, with entertainment breach incidents increasing 220 percent in the first six months of 2017.

In terms of geographic location, North America took the majority of breaches and the number of compromised records, with both above 86 percent.

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